How To Fix Mac Camera Not Working

You can use your Mac’s built-in camera for FaceTime, Skype video calls, or any compatible apps. The Mac camera has improved over the last few years, offering better video quality. However, there are times when it stops working or fails to work as you expect. 

There are many reasons why your Mac camera is not working. The first one is that you may be running an outdated version of macOS. And, there is a slight chance that your Mac has hardware issues. 

If the camera is not working on your Mac, do not worry, we have gathered all the possible fixes in the section below. Before we dive into our fixes, try updating the macOS firmware on your machine. If that does not help, read on.

Method 1: Make Sure Your Camera Lens Is Not Covered

One of the first things you need to do if your webcam fails to work is to check if anything covers the lens. Many Mac users cover their front camera when it’s not in use to protect their privacy from hackers. If you are one of those, try removing the cover and check if your camera works again. 

Method 2: Check your Permissions

You need to grant an app access to your Mac’s built-in camera for first-time use. If your Mac’s camera is not working in a specific app, you may have denied camera access to that app. Here are the steps;

  1. Open System Preferences and select Security & Privacy
  2. Select Camera. From here, you should see a list of all apps that have requested camera access on your Mac. 
  3. To change a setting, click on the lock icon at the bottom and provide your admin password. Once you are done, check if the problem is fixed. 

Method 3: Kill Camera Processes in the Background

If the problem remains unsolved, the next step is to kill the camera processes. There are two processes that keep your Mac’s webcam running in the background: VCDAssistant and AppleCameraAssistant. These processes may stop working sometimes. 

You can manually kill a process using a Terminal command. Here are the steps;

  1. Launch Terminal by using Spotlight Search or go to Applications > Utilities
  2. When you are in, enter the following command and press Enter: sudo killall VDCAssistant;sudo killall AppleCameraAssistant
  3. You will be asked to enter your admin password and check if you can use the camera again. 

 Method 4: Restart your Mac

A restart should fix some problems on your Mac. If killing the processes did not work for you, try using a restart. Here is how to restart a Mac.

  1. Click on the Apple icon at the top menu and select Restart from the drop-down menu.
  2. Check the box next to the “Reopen Windows When Logging Back in” option and hit Restart.
  3. Once your Mac finishes booting up, log in again and see if the camera is working again.

Method 5: Reinstall the App

If your Mac camera is not working within a specific app, try reinstalling the app you are trying to use with the camera. To do it, 

  1. Drag the app to the Trash icon to delete it and then press Command + Delete
  2. Now, download and reinstall the app from the Mac App Store. 
  3. Launch the app and grant it access to the camera and see if it’s working again.

Method 6: Check your Screen Time Permissions

Screen Time is an addition to macOS Catalina that helps you track your own and your family’s app usage. If you have Screen Time enabled on your Mac, you may have limited access to the webcam. 

  1. Go to System Preferences and then select Screen Time
  2. Select Content & Privacy and click Camera.
  3. From here, make sure your Mac’s Camera is checked under the Apps tab. 

Method 7: Check your Internal Camera

All Mac laptops have built-in cameras. If your camera is not working, make sure it’s selected. Here is how to do it.

  1. Click the Apple menu and click About
  2. Click System Report and select Camera
  3. Make sure the FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in) is selected.

If your default camera is not listed, there might be some hardware issues. Bring your Mac to an authorized Apple repair service if this is the case. 

Method 8: Reset SMC

SMC controls various hardware functions such as cooling fans, power supply, and status light. A SMC reset may get your Camera working again. You can find the steps on how to reset SMC on your Mac here. 

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